The award winning “The Ocean Race Learning Programme” focusing on ocean health and literacy, reached over 100,000 people in 41 countries. This informal marine education programme is aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 14; raising awareness of the value of the ocean in everyone’s lives in order to help people, both young and old, understand the need to also protect the ocean with simple everyday steps we can all undertake. The free to use, online resources, Champions for the Sea, were developed using head and heart principles to emotionally involve students and activate them to be the change. Using the sustainable sport of sailing as a platform for ocean literacy, it has engaged many more people from all walks of life to understand the importance of the ocean and why we need to protect it. This paper will share the findings from our experience on the influence of one of the largest global marine education programmes on environmental awareness and positive action for ocean conservation. In 2019 the Champions for the Sea programme won Gold at the international Reimagine Education Awards in the sustainability category. The programme has since progressed with a teacher training module called On Course and is currently in the development of a secondary school programme. Since the start of the Champions for the Sea programme it has now been used by over 180000 people from 58 different countries. The Ocean Race is a great example of how using sport as an education platform can help to change the world of ocean literacy and environmental stewardship. Both qualitative and quantitative research was undertaken with teachers and students who used the programme to understand the impact of Champions for the Sea in helping to influence positive actions for the ocean.

Author: Lucy Hunt

Published in: Ireland International Conference on Education (IICE-2022)

  • Date of Conference: 26-28 April 2022
  • DOI: 10.20533/IICE.2022.0011
  • ISBN: 978-1-913572-46-4
  • Conference Location: Virtual (Dún Laoghaire, Ireland)